Check It Out!

Laddie_Head SquareIt’s been a while since I’ve shared what I am reading and listening to. In the past couple of days I read one blogpost and listened to two podcast episodes that I think are worth your attention.

At the top of my bookmarks for non-diabetes blogs is a website titled Heart Sisters. This blog is self-described as “All about women and heart disease – our #1 killer – from the unique perspective of CAROLYN THOMAS, a Mayo Clinic-trained women’s health advocate, heart attack survivor, blogger, speaker.”

Currently I do not have heart disease although as a woman in her 60’s with Type 1 diabetes, I know that I am at risk. The appeal of this website for me has less to do with heart disease and more to do with the shared experiences of women (really all people) living with a chronic disease.

On October 17, Thomas published a blogpost titled “How Minimally Disruptive Medicine is happily disrupting health care.” She highlights the Mayo Clinic’s KER (Knowledge & Education Research) team led by Dr. Victor Montori. Dr. Montori is well-known for his discussions of the chronically-ill patient’s “burden of treatment” and is a proponent of eliminating terms such as “non-compliant” and “non-adherent.”

Heart Sisters 1

Those of us with diabetes are experts at recognizing the burden that our care places on our lives. Thomas shares a quote from a 46-year old woman (V. T. Tran interview) whose comments will hit home for many of us:

“There is stuff that I am SUPPOSED to do, and stuff that I actually DO.  If I did everything I am SUPPOSED to do, my life would revolve around doctors and tests and such and there wouldn’t be very much left for living my life.

I strongly urge you to read this blogpost and dream about an ideal world where medical professionals no longer blame patients and instead work towards patient health goals with a secondary emphasis on diagnostic test numbers.


Juicebox Podcast is an offshoot of the well-known diabetes parenting blog Arden’s Day. In 2007 Scott Benner began sharing life stories after his daughter Arden was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Scott proudly proclaims that he is a stay-at-home dad and the author of Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Benner began a podcast in early 2015 and named it after the numerous juiceboxes his daughter has consumed to treat low blood sugars.

This weekend while walking the dog, I listened to two Juicebox Podcast episodes which focused on Dexcom. Episode #27 was an interview with Kevin Sayer who is the CEO of Dexcom. Rather than recreate the wheel, I’ll share Scott’s synopsis of the episode: “Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer talks about the Dexcom/Google collaboration, pump integration, Android and iOS/CGM in the Cloud issues, Medicare, Medicaid, Adhesive concerns…. Sayer was an open book who dished about things that I thought for sure he’d decline to speak about.”

Episode #28 was an interview with Steve Pacelli who is Dexcom’s Executive VP of Strategy & Corporate Development. Once again per Benner: “Just 24 hours after the surprise FDA approval of the Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitoring system, I spoke with Dexcom EVP Steven Pacelli and asked him all of the questions that were submitted to me by my blog readers and podcast listeners – I even threw in a few of my own. If you’re wondering about Dexcom G5 upgrading, cost, out of pocket, battery life and more?”

Juicebox Podcast 1

Both of these Dexcom interviews were released in August and some of the G5 discussion is a bit dated. A minor point because both conversations are fascinating with insider views of Dexcom’s past, present, and future. I found Sayer’s discussion of the Google/Dexcom collaboration to be particularly interesting with his views on device miniaturization and the possibilities for the Type 2 market.

As an adult with Type 1 diabetes, I am not necessarily the Juicebox Podcast‘s target audience—parents of children with T1. Some of Benner’s interviews focus on parenting issues such as 504 plans/talking with school administrators and I skip those. Many are interviews with other T1 parents sharing their unique stories. I listen to and enjoy those podcasts while giving thanks that I live with Type 1 rather than my children. Finally there are interviews with people such as NASCAR driver Ryan Reed, American Idol contestant Adam Lasher, John Costik of Nightscout, and the two Dexcom executives that are interesting to anyone with a connection to diabetes.

I subscribe to the Jukebox Podcast through iTunes and new episodes are automatically downloaded to my iPhone podcast app. You can also listen to individual episodes through iTunes.



Read this!  How Minimally Disruptive Medicine is happily disrupting health care

Listen to this!  Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer Talks

Listen to this!  Dexcom G5 Approval with Dexcom EVP Steve Pacelli

Cracked Again

Laddie_Head SquareI just received a replacement Animas Vibe pump. At my last battery change, I discovered a crack in my pump from the top of the battery compartment down about 5/8 inch. Did I over-tighten the battery cap? I have no idea. Is it a design flaw or weakness in the type of plastic used for the pump case? Maybe. I would label it as an isolated problem but less than a year ago, I had my Animas Ping replaced for the same problem.

Animas Vibe Pumps2

In the seven years that I used Medtronic pumps, I cracked at least 3 pumps (maybe 4?). All of the cracks were in the exact same location: from the reservoir view window to the Esc button.Medtronic Pump Cracks

Maybe I am a kid who is rough with my pumps and break them whenever I wrestle and beat up my older sister. Nope. Maybe I get frustrated with diabetes and throw my pumps against cement walls whenever my BG tops 300. Nope. Maybe I have unlimited money and don’t take care of my diabetes devices. Nope.

So what is the truth? I am a middle-aged woman who will soon be called “old.” I line up my diabetes supplies in LIFO (last in, first out) order and never once in 39 years have I ever run out of supplies. I am not perfect at the diabetes game but I do a pretty good job. If nothing else, I am definitely mega-organized, methodical, and careful.

So what is the story?

After cracking the 3rd (or was it the 4th?) Medtronic pump, I spoke with a phone representative who told me that they would not replace any more pumps for me. Huh???  I called back a few days later and got a rep who asked how I was carrying my pump. I was using the Medtronic clip attached to my waistband as I had been ever since I started pumping. She suggested that after they replaced this pump that I should quit using the clip. She arranged for a free leather case (brown and ultra-masculine) which I hated. But from that day forward, I abandoned the Medtronic clip and began carrying the pump in my pocket. Never again did I crack a Medtronic pump. For whatever reason, the Medtronic clip on my waistband caused pumps to crack. For me. Obviously not for everyone. Medtronic pumps still ship with the same clip that for whatever reason didn’t work for me.

When I first started using the Animas Ping I got a few “No Delivery” (Loss of Prime???) error messages. It turned out that when I inserted the reservoir, I wasn’t pushing it in far enough or tightening the reservoir cap tight enough. With Medtronic I was always advised not to tighten things too tight. Whatever. I quickly learned to push Animas reservoirs in as far as I could and tighten the cap tightly. I have never had a reservoir error since then. So now I am cracking the pumps when I insert batteries. Am I over tightening them? I have no idea. But from now on, I will follow the Animas manual exactly as the photo below shows.Battery Insructions

So here I am. A middle-aged woman who has cracked 5 pumps in ten years of pumping. What happens with kids and teenagers who are rough with pumps? What happens with athletes who play football, hockey, and soccer? What happens with people whose pumps are randomly snatched by ceiling fans (Scott Johnson)? Although I hate to jinx myself, I have never had a pump failure. Just cracked cases. Except for the one rogue Medtronic rep, the pump companies have been fabulous in sending me new pumps as soon as possible.

So what’s the story? Is my experience mirrored by others on insulin pumps or am I just one rough, tough lady?

Beats me. As far as I am concerned, It’s just another day in a life with diabetes.

TuDiabetes: Type 2 Series


Laddie_Head SquareToday (Thursday, October 1) TuDiabetes is launching a series of live interviews that are centered around Type 2 diabetes. Does that mean that those of us with Type 1 diabetes won’t learn anything? Absolutely not! All of these interviews will have relevance for anyone affected by any kind of diabetes—whether you have diabetes or love someone who does. This series will address topics such as diet, the basics of Type 2 diabetes, diabetes myths, emotional support, shame and blame, and family dynamics.

Today’s event is an interview with journalist and author Gary Taubes. Two of his well-known books are Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat. I have mentioned Taubes more than once on my blog and I highly recommend that you check out his books and/or articles. His writing is clear, concise, and highly persuasive as he argues that ourtaubesFB current obesity crisis is caused by certain types of carbohydrates rather than fats and excess calories. When you read his stuff, it really makes sense.

Today’s interview of Taubes is at 1pm PT, 4pm ET, 9pm GMT. To get more details about the event, click here. This event page provides information about Taubes and links to some of his books and articles. In addition there is a teal-colored box to click at the time of the event.

Please note that you must be logged into the TuDiabetes site to view the interview live. At the top of both the event page and the TuDiabetes home page are boxes to click to Log In or Register if you are new to TuDiabetes.

If you are unable to attend the event live today, the video will be posted in the TuDiabetes video archives in about a week.

Mark Your Calendars!

The schedule and details for the other interviews in the Type 2 Series can be found here. The speakers and dates are listed below. All of the event times are 1pm PT, 4pm ET, 9pm GMT unless noted otherwise.

Today, October 1    Live Interview with Journalist and Author Gary Taubes    Details here.

October 7    Addressing Shame and Blame with Susan Guzman    Details here.

October 13    Ansley Dalbo presents “Diabetes What to Know”    Details here.

October 22    D-blogger Mike Durbin, in Conversation with Rick Phillips    Details here.

November 11    Susan Guzman, “Rebranding Diabetes”    Details here.

November 18    Corinna Cornejo on Type 2 Diabetes Myths and Misconceptions    Details here. This event is at 12pm PT, 3pm ET, 8pm GMT.

More about TuDiabetes labels itself as “a community of people touched by diabetes, a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation.” On this website you will find information about all types of diabetes, forums where you can touch base with other people affected by diabetes, a live chat feature, an extensive library of video interviews, and a blog feature which is under construction but currently lists links to member blogs.

If you have never checked out TuDiabetes, come visit. You can browse the site without logging in, but it is hoped that you will register and share your voice. If you used to participate and are flummoxed by the new platform, it’s getting busier, more organized, and you are missed. If you live with diabetes, TuDiabetes will make sure that you are never alone.